9th of Av on Shabbat

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A Conceptual Understanding of the Nature of the 9th of Av, When It Falls Out on Shabbat

Guest post by R. Michael J. Broyde

Michael Broyde is a law professor at Emory University, was the founding rabbi of the Young Israel in Atlanta and is a dayan in the Beth Din of America.

There have been many guidebooks published on the internet and elsewhere concerning what to do when the 9th of Av[1] falls out on Shabbat, but as I have read them, I sense that they all fail to explain the basic conceptual starting point – which is a significant dispute about the nature of the day – but rather, they simply note rules and that many matters are in dispute.

An initial two pieces of data are needed, but well known: When Yom Kippur falls out on Shabbat, Yom Kippur is observed on Shabbat and the mitzvot of Shabbat are pushed aside to the extent that they are incompatible with Yom Kippur. On the other hand, when all other fast days fall out on Shabbat, they are either delayed a day and not observed at all on Shabbat, or they are moved backwards (as in the case of Taanit Esther) and still not observed at all on Shabbat. While Tisha Be’Av is deferred, in fact the situation is much more complex, and as we will see, there are a group of Rishonim, as well as a common collection of minhagim, that direct the observance of some part of Tisha Be’Av on Shabbat.

Indeed, it is my view that there is an implicit dispute among the Rishonim as to whether the 9th of Av that falls out on Shabbat is really also Tisha Be’Av but we just do not publically mourn on that day, or the rabbinic decree that delayed the fast until Sunday is really is to be understood as saying Tisha Be’Av is completely delayed – in all its forms and permutations – until Sunday, the 10th of Av and Shabbat is celebrated like any Shabbat (except that Sunday is Tisha BeAv); some in this groups even claim that Shabbat the 9th of Av cannot even have the status of the eve of Tisha Be’av.

On this dispute hinges nearly all of the halachic issues in question, and I would like to point out the range of this dispute.

  1. In OC 551:4 there is a dispute about the status of the week before 9th Av when the 9th of Av is on Shabbat and delayed until Sunday. Is there a full week before the fast or no days before the fast? Shulchan Aruch recounts both views in the alternative. The central dispute is simple to understand. One view says that the week before the 9th of Av is the week of Tisha Be’Av and the second view says that “Tisha Be’Av” is actually on the 10th of Av in such a year and it is like any year where Tisha Be’Av is on Sunday and there is no “week before Tisha Be’Av” then. (See Mishnah Berurah 551:38, also).
  2. There is a dispute about whether marital relations are permitted on this Shabbat (OC 554:19) with three views given: always permitted, never permitted, or permitted only in a case of mitzvah.
  3. There are those who maintain that regular Torah study is forbidden that whole Shabbat, while others say only from mincha onward, and yet others say permitted all day. (Compare Magen Avraham 553:7 with Mishnah Berurah 553:9 with Taz 553:7 with Aruch Hashulchan 553:4.)
  4. There are those who note that taking a Shabbat afternoon stroll on Shabbat 9th of Av is prohibited as it is not for the sake of Shabbat and inconsistent with the 9th of Av sadness. See Sharai Teshuva 553:5 (and note which poskim he cites).

One can see a hint of the view that when the 9th of Av fall on Shabbat, private sadness is still allowed in the precise formulation of the Rambam (Tanit 5:8) that:

וערב תשעה באב שחל להיות בשבת אוכל ושותה כל צרכו ומעלה על שלחנו אפילו כסעודת שלמה, וכן תשעה באב עצמו שחל להיות בשבת אינו מחסר כלום.

When the eve of Tisha Be’Av falls out on Shabbat one can eat and drink as much as one wants, and put on one’s plate even a feast like Solomon’s. So too, when Tisha Be’Av itself falls out on Shabbat, one should not be lacking anything.

As Rabbi Shternbach notes in Moadim Uzemanim 5:343, the formulation with regard to Shabbat on the eve of Tisha Be’Av denotes that one may not observe the Tisha Be’Av eve rituals at all, but may feast, whereas on Shabbat 9th of Av itself, merely “nothing should be lacking” but there is no mention of Solomon’s feast.
This stands in noticeable contrast with the revised formulation of this Rambam found in the Shulchan Aruch 552:10 which reads:

אם חל תשעה באב באחד בשבת, או שחל בשבת ונדחה לאחר השבת, אוכל בשר ושותה יין בסעודה המפסקת ומעלה על שלחנו אפילו יד כסעודת שלמה בעת מלכותו.
If the 9th of Av falls on Sunday or on Shabbat and Tisha Be’Av is delayed until Sunday, one may eat meat and drink wine at the final meal and place on one’s table like the feast of Solomon when he was king.

The Shulchan Aruch, who adopts the view that when the 9th of Av is on Shabbat, Tisha BeAv is not observed at all (and neither is the eve of Tisha BeAv), changes the formulation of the Rambam to reflect this view. Magen Avraham (552:14) who thinks that one is still mourning on this day, as it is still Tisha BeAv in private, has no choice but to add “nonetheless, one should sit [during this ‘feast of Solomon’] like one who is an abandoned soul, feeling no joy” since he is of the view that one is still really in private mourning. Of course, he is arguing with the Shulchan Aruch, even if he does not state such (as the Mishnah Berurah 552:23 notes) when he quotes alternative views.

Thus, on a halacha lemaseh level, I would like to suggest that at its core this matter is a dispute between two basic views.

  • Magen Avraham and many others think that the 9th of Av that falls out on Shabbat is to be treated like a day of mourning in private, like shiva that falls out on Shabbat, and thus many aspects of private mourning are permitted (and only public mourning is prohibited) but the day is still really Tisha Be’Av.
  • Rabbi Karo and many others who think that Shabbat totally overwhelms Tisha Be’Av and no aspect of this sad day can be observed on Shabbat. Tisha Be’Av is observed on the 10th of Av, in his view, when the 9th of Av is on Shabbat.

From these two views, both the Mishnah Berurah and Aruch Hashulchan (and maybe even Rama) are uncertain as to what exactly to do practically to resolve this dispute, and thus who try to examine each matter on a case by case basis, frequently citing inconsistent or compromised views or even adopting the view that Shabbat after mincha should be treated with the sadness of Tisha Be’av Eve for some matters. (See Mishnah Berurah 553:23 and Aruch Hashulchan 553:4, as one of a number of examples. Contrast this with the clear rules found in Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 556).

May we be blessed – even at this late date in the month of Av — to see only redemption and joy in our community.


[1] In this short article, I use the social convention ‘9th of Av’ or ‘10th of Av’ to denote the calendar date, and Tisha Be’Av to note the date the fast is observed.

About Michael Broyde

32 comments

  1. Lawrence Kaplan

    An incisve essay, as usual.

    Re the Rambam Taanit 5:8, I think the Rambam’s use of “ve-khen” mitigates against R. Sternbach’s diyyuk.

  2. From next week’s audioroundup-R’ Asher Weiss makes pretty much the same chakira:

    http://download.bcbm.org/Media/RavWeiss/Sefer Bamidbar/Pinchas/Rav Weiss Pinchas 5772 English Tisha Bav Nidcha.mp3.mp3
    Rav Asher Weiss-“Pinchas English Tisha Bav Nidcha 5772:
    Given that the Talmud entertains an opinion, that the 10th of AV could/should have been the day recognizing the destruction of the temple, when the 9th is Shabbat and we push off the fast to the 10th, is there a different halachic status than other fasts which are pushed off? The answer could impact diverse issues such as mourning in private on that Shabbat, defining shavua shechal bo (week of tisha b’av), fasting for one who becomes bar or bat mitzvah that Sunday…..

    She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

  3. This is a helpful article, but it is somewhat surprising to me that R’ Broyde felt that his basic distinction is a hiddush. I remember learning this interpretation as a teenager, when it was taught to me as “plain peshat” in understanding the differences of opinion here, so I have always assumed that everyone viewed the situation this way.

  4. The rav also has this chakras in shiurei Harvard on a veils and tisha b’av. You can find a good summary of nafta Mina in a recent ten minute Halacha shiur I gave. It is posted on yutorah

  5. Whoops, not used to the autocorrect on new computer. Sorry about the typos

  6. The diyuk in the Rambam is underwhelming. See שו”ת אור לציון חלק ג – הערות פרק כח – דיני ערב תשעה באב for a discussion of how to interpret the Rambam there:

    אולם נראה שאין כוונת הרמב”ם כן, שלשון אינו מחסר כלום הוא מהתוספתא בתענית פרק ג’ הלכה י”ב, והרא”ש בתענית פרק ד’ סימן ל”ב דקדק מכך, שאינו נמנע מרחיצה וסיכה ותשמיש המיטה, ואין צריך לנהוג דברים של צנעא

    so in fact, the Rambam is emphasizing that Tisha b’Av is *not* observed on Shabbbos, even b’tzina, just the opposite of the conclusion of R. Shternbuch’s diyuk.

  7. The phrase falls out on is a uniquely orthodox locution that seems even more entrenched than I expected, seeing that someone of Prof. Broyde’s caliber would use it repeatedly in the space of a single essay.

    Anyway, the correct expression is falls on.

  8. Besides for that Ramba, you have brought no opinion from the Rishonim that even implies that when the 9 day of Av is on the shabbat, some form of private mourning is observed.

  9. The source for observing some restrictions on Shabbos is Rosh (Taanis 4:32), who discusses whether one must refrain from marital relations.

    As many commentors noted above, this is the classic explanation of this disagreeement in the Acharonim. See צפע”נ הפלאה ב¬השמטות (נד, סע”ג ואילך). מהד”ת כח, ג. שו”ת דווינסק ח”ב סל”א¬לב. שו”ת ווארשא (נ.י.) ח”א סמ”ד. שו”ת אבני נזר או”ח סי’ תכו. שו”ת כתב סופר או”ח סק”א. מהרש”ם ח”ג סשס”ג. ועוד (cited in Likkutei Sichos 33, p. 157, fn. 11).

  10. This post would have been much easier to understand if it used terms like “chakira” and “nafka mina” every couple sentences. 🙂

    (Seriously though, it’s good for Briskers to have to express their thoughts in non-Brisker language. It ensures that the terms refer to meaningful concepts and are not buzzwords disconnected to reality.)

  11. Rabbi Broyde,

    If you look at Rabbi Simcha B. Cohen’s “The Laws of Daily Living: The Three Weeks & Tisha B’Av” (Artscroll, 2009) on pages 159 – 164, you’ll find this discussion and some great footnotes.

    Since I read his work, I couldn’t relate at all to this remark of yours:

    “There have been many guidebooks published on the internet and elsewhere concerning what to do then the 9th of Av[1] falls out on Shabbat, but as I have read them, I sense that they all fail to explain the basic conceptual starting point – which is a significant dispute about the nature of the day – but rather, they simply note rules and that many matters are in dispute.”

  12. Lawrence Kaplan

    Thanks skeptic for citing sources indicating that my intuition re the weakness of the diyyuk in the Rambam is supported by gedolim ve-tovim mimeni.

  13. Dov: “The phrase falls out on is a uniquely orthodox locution …” It is uniquely Yiddish locution. Nothing to do with Orthodox.

  14. Found it:
    Background

    The traditional wedding ceremony is largely geared towards the husband and officiant; the bride’s role is minimal. All she needs to do is silently accept the ring. Various alterations have been made to the ceremony to try and minimise this discrepancy – Rabbi Dov Linzer published an article dealing with such alterations, Towards a More Balanced Wedding Ceremony from an Orthodox standpoint, in the JOFA journal of summer 2003.

    In particular, the following allows for an elegant double ring ceremony:

    The practice in Sephardic communities and in Jerusalem is for the groom to assume his ketubah obligations under the chuppah, immediately following the kiddushin. This obligation is assumed through an act of kinyan, classically performed by the groom taking an object (often a handkerchief or a pen) from the officiating rabbi in the presence of witnesses. However, since the groom is obligating himself to the bride, it is actually more appropriate that the bride, and not the rabbi, give him the object. This object can be a ring.

    This is how such a ceremony would look: Immediately after the kiddushin, the witnesses are called, and it is explained that they are to witness the bride giving a ring to the chatan, upon receipt of which the chatan will undertake his ketubah obligations to the bride. The bride then gives a ring to the groom, stating תקבל טבעת זו ותתחייב לי בכל חיובי כתובה כדת משה וישראל, ”Accept this ring and obligate yourself to me with all the ketubah obligations, according to the law of Moses and Israel.“ The groom accepts the ring, and the witnesses sign the ketubah.

    Me-Reminds me of WTG methodology to allow birchat hatorah

    She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

  15. Shlomo-

    “Seriously though, it’s good for Briskers to have to express their thoughts in non-Brisker language. It ensures that the terms refer to meaningful concepts and are not buzzwords disconnected to reality.”

    You’re mechaven to a be’feirushe RNL b’shem RYBS

    http://books.google.com/books?id=sa06PAem-SgC&pg=PR5&lpg=PR5&dq=norman+lamm+mentor+of+generations&source=bl&ots=M_vsPS5CQ2&sig=L4jbjCmJ9KLzpnNcnIY8d6TE_G8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GbMSUIOlDuy50QGG34DoCA&ved=0CE4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=norman%20lamm%20mentor%20of%20generations&f=false

    I hope the link goes to the right place. It starts at the bottom of page 41.

    The rest of the essay is quite fascinating as well. Es ‘chatai’ ani mazkir hayom. I bought the book from the YU seforim sale after R Gil advertised it right here on Hirhurim. I loved every page of it. Especially Dr Kaplan’s ‘complaint’ that RYBS slipped something by him while translating Halachic Man. (He promises not to let that happen again.)
    🙂

  16. Lawrence Kaplan

    Alamanderer: Are you not familiar with the story about the wandering preacher who had only one derashah in his repetoire which was about Korach? Whenever he would visit a town, prior to beginning his derashah he would wipe his brow with a handkerchief, which then he would then, as if by mistake, let fall to the ground. He would then presume to vainly search for it and say “Swallowed up like Korach. Now since I mentioned Korach…” You remind me of that preacher. Indeed, there are many topics more important than than this one. But this one is the topic of this thread. You should learn something about blogging etiquete.

  17. On the basic chakira, others (I believe the Chasam Sofer) relate this back to the machlokes of the chachamim and R’Yochanan of whether Tisha B’Av should have been instituted on the 10th in the first place (because the primary destruction occured on the 10th and not the 9th). Therefore, even though the halacha is like the chachamim, the question is when it is nidche to the 10th, is that just like any other nidche but the day itself primarily remains ont he 9th or is the whole institution of Tisha B’Av that year on the 10th

  18. R’anon1,
    Exactly what R’ Asher Weiss said (see lonk above)
    She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

  19. “I sense that they all fail to explain the basic conceptual starting point – which is a significant dispute about the nature of the day – but rather, they simply note rules and that many matters are in dispute.”

    I haven’t checked R Zevin’s ha’moadim b’halacha recently, but that’s what that sefer is all about. They don’t seem to have it on Hebrew Books, so I’ll just have to find a good old fashioned print edition.

  20. Thank you very much JT for providing me the information

    This is against the tur CM 190 in dinai kinyan.

    First of all a handkerchief is inappropriate it is used for tashmish mous.
    Our minhag is we use the ‘sudar’ of the eidim and not the recipient. There are many reasons for this mentioned there. The ktsos discusses how it works. So his ‘innovation’ is against the tur. How can he say more appropriate when the tur says the opposite. It is because he has just ‘glanced’ over the gemoro without learning tur and SA and already starts making new dinim and even calling them more appropriate.

    I am familiar with the preacher story and its very fitting here. Korach also tried to make innovations. A tallis shouldnt need tsitsit or a house a mezuza.

    If a house is burning then one has to take drastic measures. The beis hamikdosh was burning then and is today.

    My main post was really addressed to R Broyde.

  21. My recollection is that R’ Moshe said no to the double ring ceremony based on chukkat hagoyim with the additional issue of people mistakenly thinking that you needed a ring kaful for kiddushin. If I am correct, it seems a meta-issue.
    She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

  22. “So his ‘innovation’ is against the tur” Read the summary again. He doesn’t say that he will use a handkerchief. I know if is hard for you to believe this, but R. Linzer is a real talmid chochom.

  23. Steven Oppenheimer, DMD

    For a very thorough treatment of the issues referred to by Rabbi Broyde, see Rabbi Eliyahu Shlesinger’s Shu”t Shoalin U’Dorshin Vol.4 Siman 41. This also appears in the newer version of Eleh Haim Moadai Vol. 4, also by Rabbi Shlesinger. Rabbi Shlisinger bring’s all the sources and explains the different positions.

  24. Lawrence Kaplan

    alamnderer: I’m with anon. You obviously just “glanced over” Rabbi Linzer’s description of his suggested halakhic innovation, which, as anon correctly notes and as even a cursory reading should have made clear, does not involve a sudar at all. And on the basis of your sloppy and incorrect reading you have the nerve to insult Rabbi Linzer, who even his critcs acknowledge to be a distinguished Talimid Hakham, as you did! For shame.

  25. I am still struggling to understand why we have a minhag not to eat meat on Sunday night. I sensed that the Nitei Gavriel was also perplexed.

    Someone told me the Rav had a shtickel on this and related it to the Aninus of a Cohen Gadol. Does anyone know of such a source and/or provide a cogent rationale for the Ashkenazi minhag, as above. Interestingly, Rabbi Zinner notes the Arizal would have eaten meat on Sunday night.

  26. Oh and it’s 10:53pm in Melbourne on Motzei Shabbos, despite the time stamp this blog ascribes to me.

  27. This obligation is assumed through an act of kinyan, classically performed by the groom taking an object (often a handkerchief or a pen) from the officiating rabbi in the presence of witnesses.
    I said this was wrong to be using handkerchief a tashmish mous. I know he is using a ring instead he says so.
    However, since the groom is obligating himself to the bride, it is actually more appropriate that the bride, and not the rabbi, give him the object. This object can be a ring.
    So he is using a ring instead of a handkerchief or a sudar for the same purpose it should have the same dinim. And according to the tur not belong to the recipient.

  28. The biggest proof that today, Sunday, is not really Tisha B’Av is that a baal berit washes and eats.

  29. This obligation is assumed through an act of kinyan, classically performed by the groom taking an object (often a handkerchief or a pen) from the officiating rabbi in the presence of witnesses.
    It is also wrong to take it from the rabbi the eidim have to provide it. Is anything right!

  30. “As Rabbi Shternbach notes in Moadim Uzemanim”

    His last name is Sternbuch. This spelling can be found on the English part of his letterhead. His books have a star (Stern) in a book (Buch) on the spine…

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